It’s like I don’t even know me

Chicken Potpie

I keep saying that I don’t cook, but cooking-related posts are leading the pack lately, which is undeniably because I have been cooking. A lot.

Look, don’t tell, OK? Because I don’t generally cook and when this phase passes I fully intend to go back to not cooking at all and not eating much that qualifies as a real meal.

That said… today I made a chicken pot pie, using all the leftover roasted chicken.

I had started out over on (LOVE!) But I didn’t really find a lot of recipes that I really liked the look of.

So then I just grabbed the Bisquick box, checked their recipe, and went shopping for ingredients.

But, well, I still had spicy shepherd’s pie left over for dinner last night. And while the oppressive heat wave had broken, it was still a good bit warmer last night than desirable. Pot pie could wait one more night…

And then it occurred to me that I hadn’t checked America’s Test Kitchen to see if they had a recipe.There are not a lot of cooking shows that I like, but America’s Test Kitchen and Cook’s Country (same cast, same principle, different setting, different recipes) are two that I do like. Quite a lot in fact.

The only problem is that their recipes tend to not be Beginner’s Basic. They also don’t believe in any shortcuts. OK, yeah, I want everything I cook to be absolutely delicious… though I cook infrequently, I still want great results when I do. But am I willing to make every last step from scratch? Do I have the time, the inclination, or the extensive set of gadgetry and ingredients needed for most of these recipes? Do I have the enormous kitchen with all the storage space, counter space and general wherewithal for these recipes?

The answer to all three of those questions is a resounding “No.”

But the ATK recipe for pot pie – at least the one that was basic (not premium) content – was not obnoxious in terms of steps or ingredients. In fact, they worked from the assumption that a person might NOT want to start their pot pie by roasting a chicken! Miracle!

Of course, I had roasted a chicken already. And their recipe called for things I don’t really eat, like mushrooms and peas. And it called for things I didn’t have, like heavy cream and milk.

So today, when the weather has returned to a pleasant spring sunny but not hot and having the oven on to 450° doesn’t feel like it will kill me… I decided to cook, and I started from the ATK recipe. And then I tweaked:

The first change I made was the chicken. They started by parboiling chicken breasts and thighs for about 10 minutes in 3 cups of chicken broth. My chicken was already cooked, and I didn’t have chicken broth anyway.

I did have the juices (strained of fat) from the roast chicken (in case I decided to make a gravy for it later, should I have decided to just eat chicken for a while), so I kept that handy for later in the recipe when adding the chicken broth and juices would be needed.

The next change I made was to the crumble topping. I used Bisquick in place of the flour and baking powder. I might, in fact, have baking powder in the fridge, but I don’t know for sure as I did not look. And I had flour, so theoretically I could have followed the recipe. But I didn’t.  Bisquick has more leavening, so the crumble was a lot more fluffy (and I feared more likely to soak up the liquid in the pot pie later), I ended up breaking it up much more finely when it was “done” and baking it for two more minutes to make sure it was crisp.

Other changes: heavy cream became half-and-half. Because that is what I have on hand (because it’s what I like in my coffee). And milk became half-and-half. Because that is what I have on hand (because it’s what I like in my coffee).

I pulled out the mushrooms altogether. There are only very select ways in which I will eat mushrooms, and I didn’t want to assume this would miraculously prove to be one of them.

I skipped the step for sauteing vegetables, having already decided (when I grocery-shopping thinking I was going to be using the Bisquick recipe) to use thawed frozen mixed vegetables (I selected a mix of carrots, green beans and corn (not really liking the corn allatmuch actually) and a bag of “stew vegetables” which had carrots, pearl onions (I like the flavor they add overall but am eating around the pearl onions), green beans and potatoes). So I basically just let these veggies warm for a few minutes, while I shredded the chicken.

And there were no peas. Peas are not served in my house. Because peas are not food.

Shredding the chicken took some time. I had a lot more chicken than they did. Apparently that was a BIG chicken I roasted, because although they were working from 2-breasts, 2-thighs and I was working from 2-breast, almost 2-thighs (not a big fan so not super diligent about getting every bit of the dark meat off the chicken when I was clearing it), I had nearly twice as much meat as they did. And more veggies.

Which meant that when I made the sauce, I didn’t have enough. So I had to do something I am sure the chefs at ATK would sooner die than do: I added a can of soup. Cream of chicken, to be exact. A large can. So as to have enough.

I will not apologize for this unapproved addition, because the result has been wildly successful.

The pot pie is goooooood.

So that’s what I’ll be eating for a few days to come. How many days, exactly, will vary based on how many meals per day will be pot pie. (Can I bear pot pie for breakfast lunch & dinner? I guess I’ll find out.)


About aka gringita
Flotsam generator. Amateur photographer. Avid traveler. Christ follower.

2 Responses to It’s like I don’t even know me

  1. Mmm.

    But wait…YOU don’t cook? Ms. Guava-Empanadas-Every-Sunday?!?!

    If there’s one thing I’ve come to expect from your posts, it’s to drool over what you’ve been eating. 🙂


  2. Pingback: Slow and easy Sunday « aka Gringita

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